“Your letter of yesterday rec’d. I have been very anxious since your last letter. Mrs. Rogers, who is with me, joins in earnest sympathy and we are both desirous of serving you if we can. Don’t fail to command us because we are to be classed among your warmest friends” [MTHHR 498].
August 15 Friday – In York Harbor, Maine Sam wrote to Susan Crane.
Susy dear, Livy objected, this afternoon, & said it would be too hard a journey for you & that the hotels are too far away from us (3 miles); but this evening she is low-spirited & wants you; & frankly says the rest of us are not valuable comforters. The truth is, she won’t let us be. We try our best to keep hidden the doctor-secrets, but she is sharp, & penetrating, & hunts us through all our shifts & dodges, & worms everything out of us, & then the result makes her low-spirited. She wants you, & she is right. We mean well, but we make a poor job of it; & I suffer mortification & premature damnation by consequence of my share in it.
I have been over to neighbor Sewall’s (50 yards away) & that is where you will lodge. Lovely people they are—& plain. You will feed with us.
Sam added train times and directions [MTP].
Notes: at various times the Clemenses took two or three rooms in the neighbor Sewell’s home during the crisis
with Livy. Sam had taken a room there, as was his habit, to get away to write. The Sewell family: Noah Millard Sewell (1850-1919) had two sons and a daughter: Dr. Millard Freeman Sewell (b.1878), Arthur Eugene Sewell (1882-1956), and Grace Sewell (1880-1935). After leaving York Harbor, Jean Clemens would write Millard and Grace several times from Oct.-Dec. 1902, sending photographs of Quarry Farm and Riverdale.
Sam’s notebook: “The Polecat Dog. / Bummer & Lazarus & Emperor Norton, the Sub-Pioneer Society—I the sole other member. / Chas. Warren Stoddard” [NB 45 TS 23].
Clara Spaulding Stanchfield wrote to Sam from Elmira on mourning paper. “I have just heard of Livy’s illness. If there is anything I can do for her or for you do call upon me, and let me help” [MTP].
August 16 Saturday – In York Harbor Sam wrote above and below his printed name on his calling card with mourning border to Joseph Wood: “Welcome to the ranks of the righteous—& power to your elbow!” [MTP: eBay #6593738764, Jan.8, 2006].
Susan Crane in Elmira sent a telegram to Sam. “Start in the morning due to reach you eleven forty five Monday morning” [MTP].
Rogers sent a telegram from Poland Spring, Maine to Sam. “Mrs Rogers & I arrived here yesterday I am going back on Monday by yacht & would like to drop in & see you for a moment We are very anxious to hear from Mrs Clemens Please telegraph me a line best regards & wishes” [MTP; not in MTHHR].
August 17 Sunday – In York Harbor, Maine: Sam’s notebook: “Sue starts a.m.” [NB 45 TS 23]. Note: Sue Crane, to nurse Livy.
August 18 Monday – In York Harbor, Maine: Sam’s notebook: “Sue due here 11.45 a.m. At 9 this morning, Jervis handed in a telegram to Boston to say he & Sue would arrive here at 11.45—which they did. 2 hours later (at 1.45) the telegram reached me! It had then been in the York Harbor office one hour & a half (since 12.14. B. to Y.H. 4 ¾ hours by telegraph. / Chg 25 for deliver. / Don’t divulge its leaving-time” [NB 45 TS 23].
In his long letter to the Western Union President written after Aug. 27, Sam cited the arrival from Boston of his nephew (Jervis) in York Harbor on Aug. 18 at noon [MTP].
SLC used mourning border for most letters from Susy’s death on, then from Livy’s death on.